Mission Discovery 04

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Talented school pupils from Renfrewshire will see their science experiments blast off into space thanks to a unique collaboration with NASA.

Eleven pupils from across Renfrewshire, all participants in this summer’s popular Mission Discovery space school, visited science laboratories at the University of West of Scotland to see their winning experiments being built.

Mission Discovery 04

The experiments, the first from Scotland to make it into orbit, will be launched into space next year and conducted by astronauts living on the International Space Station.

Over 200 S3-S5 pupils took part in this summer’s special week-long space school led by former NASA astronauts Ken and Michelle Ham.

Julie Keeble, lecturer in pharmacology at Kings College, London, spoke to the pupils at UWS and witnessed their experiments. Julie said, “The pupils were asked to come up with an idea for an experiment worthy of astronaut time up in the space station. The winning ideas show creative thought and innovation and are well-deserving of their journey up to the space station.”

Mission Discovery 04

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education Policy Board, said: “Mission Discovery has been such an inspiration to school pupils in Renfrewshire and it’s great to see the pupils here today watching their ideas come to life. To put this achievement into context, it costs around $25,000 to send 1 kilogramme of material to the International Space Station.

“Studying science subjects can be a route into a successful career in many different industries and we’ll continue working with partners to offer exciting initiatives that engage young people and enhance their studies. I’m delighted to say that Mission Discovery will return this summer and another group of pupils will get this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see their ideas go into orbit!”

Elese Watson (15) from St Benedict’s Secondary School, said, “It’s an absolute honour to be involved with this! We started working on these experiments in July and spent about five days working up the initial ideas. It’s incredible to think that our work will be the first experiments from Scotland to go into space.”

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of University of the West of Scotland, said, “We are extremely proud of our role as an educational sponsor of Mission Discovery and were delighted to host this event at our Paisley Campus.

“The importance of promoting science, engineering, technology and mathematics based subjects and nurturing our best talent in these areas cannot be underestimated and this project will go a long way in achieving this goal.”

Renfrewshire is just one of two areas, involved in the Mission Discovery project, that are sending more than one experiment up to the International Space Station.

The Renfrewshire experiments involve testing the feasibility of producing oxygen from cactus plants. Oxygen is a vital space resource providing fuel for rockets and breathable air for astronauts. The cactus was chosen for its durability, its low water consumption and its ability to photosynthesize in the dark.

The other experiment involves examining the impact of microgravity on the staphylococci and streptococci organisms responsible for bacterial conjunctivitis.

Mission Discovery is part of a range of initiatives designed to enhance young people’s studies in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM subjects). The initiative is sponsored by the University of the West of Scotland and West College Scotland, which are working with Renfrewshire Council to establish Renfrewshire as a centre of STEM excellence.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Winning team Apollo 12 included: Ben Herrington; Christopher Withers; Olivia Ramsay; Katherine Bogan; Lara Cumming; and Callum Mort. Their mentor was Sara Gangi, UWS student.

Runners-up the Time Lords included: Elese Watson; Blair Gilmour; Emma Mae Middleton; Craig Piggot; Saif Saleem; Hayden Chivers; Sadia Aziz; and John Martin. Their mentor was Lewis Fleming, UWS student.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Take part in the Mini Game Jam University of the West of Scotland

On 19th June 2013, 56 Primary 7 children from Royston and Carntyne Primary will be visiting the University of the West of Scotland to take part in the Mini Game Jam.

mini-game-jamAmanda Wilson a PHD student from UWS and Gavin Divers from XBLGamerhub a Paisley based XBox online community who are running the event said.

“After almost 3 years researching games construction with children I thought it would be a good idea to get a couple of schools together and let the children spend the day working on games, while at the same time spending time in a university environment and getting the chance to work with lecturers and others from the games industry.”

If you would like to find our more about the Mini Game Jam then please visit the Facebook page by clicking here..

If you would like to visit and join the Xbox Live community of XBLGamerhub then please click here..


Paisley Festival Hits The Right Note

Paisley has further sealed its reputation as Scotland’s Choir Town with a fantastic finale to Paisley Choral Festival 2009.

The two week festival came to a close with a stunning performance from City of Glasgow Chorus in the historic Paisley Abbey, and also included concerts by All Angels, Ex Cathedra and Dieci.

The closing concert was followed by a civic reception for the organisers to toast their success with Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson and Minister for Culture Mike Russell MSP.

At the reception organisers were also presented with a certificate for becoming Scotland’s first Fairtrade festival.

Festival Director Fred Hay said: “We are delighted to have managed to deliver a really high quality programme in the face of extremely challenging financial circumstances. The support provided by Renfrewshire Council, Reid Kerr College and the University of the West of Scotland was critical to our success.”

Provost Celia Lawson said: “Paisley Choral Festival has been running for sixyears and it is a testament to its reputation that it continues to attract such big names in the world of choral music. It is also a community event which gives members of the public the opportunity not only to hear great music but get involved themselves. This wide-ranging programme is why so many people continue to come to Paisley every year for this festival.

“This is another event which is adding to Renfrewshire’s growing reputation for fantastic events. This year we have seen big names such as Karen Matheson, Dougie Maclean and Eddi Reader all performing in Paisley Abbey and the revamp of Sma’ Shot Day and Fireworks Night have brought thousands of people into Paisley town centre for these family events.”


paisley festival company

Paisley Festival Company is a registered Scottish charity, established in June 2005 and headed by a Board of Directors, all unpaid and working on a voluntary basis. All its income, after payment of event expenses, goes back into funding the next series of events on behalf of the community.

The Company builds on the long and strong musical tradition in the area, the continuing high level of accomplished choral activity and the availability of a range of beautiful and interesting venues dating from Paisley’s monastic and industrial past. It promotes activities in the area of arts and culture to foster urban regeneration, boosting tourism in a part of Scotland served well by transport infrastructure and within easy reach of a range of things to do and visit. The Company has established links with local government, higher education and voluntary community organisations as well as effective connections with academic musical interests in the West of Scotland and beyond.

The Company was set up by ‘Voices in Paisley’, originally a network of choirs in the Renfrewshire/East Renfrewshire area formed with the idea of promoting a choral festival. The first Paisley Choral Festival was held in 2004, the success of which encouraged the group to pursue its plan to set up a company to take the festival forward into the future. Meanwhile, the Member Choirs of the original ‘Voices in Paisley’ continue to co-ordinate their involvement in Paisley Choral Festival.

Check out the Paisley Festival Company website by clicking here.